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In vitro fertilization

What is fertility?
Fertility is the natural capability of giving life. As a measure, “Fertility Rate” is the number of children born per couple, person or population. Infertility is a deficient fertility.

Both women and men have hormonal cycles which determine both when a woman can achieve pregnancy and when a man is most fertile.

Women’s fertility peaks around the age of 23-24, and often deteriorates after 30. With a rise in women postponing pregnancy, this can create an infertility problem.

In vitro fertilization
The term in vitro is used to refer to any biological procedure that is performed outside the organism it would normally be occurring in.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a technique in which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the woman’s womb, in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient’s uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. Babies conceived as a result of IVF are also known as test tube babies.

For IVF to be successful, it requires healthy ova, sperm that can fertilise, and a uterus that can maintain a pregnancy. Cost considerations generally place IVF as a treatment when other less expensive options have failed.

Success rates
While the overall live birth rate via IVF in the U.S. is about 27% per cycle (33% pregnancy rate), the chances of a successful pregnancy via IVF vary widely based on the age of the woman (or, more precisely, on the age of the eggs involved). Where the woman’s own eggs are used as opposed to those of a donor, for women under 35, the pregnancy rate is commonly approximately 43% per cycle (36.5% live birth), while for women over 40, the rate falls drastically – to only 4% for women over 42.

Complications
The major complication of IVF is the risk of multiple births. This is directly related to the practice of transferring multiple embryos at embryo transfer. Multiple births are related to increased risk of pregnancy loss, obstetrical complications, prematurity, and neonatal morbidity with the potential for long term damage.

For affordable IVF treatment overseas, please contact Healthbase. Healthbase is a medical tourism expert connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide. Healthbase also offers medical tourism plans for self-insured businesses looking for affordable healthcare benefits for employees.

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DENTAL SURGERY

Dental surgery is any of a number of medical procedures which involve artificially modifying the development or arrangement of teeth in the mouth.

Dental surgery falls into 4 major categories:
1. Endodontics: It deals with the tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. The pulp (containing nerves, arterioles and venules as well as lymphatic tissue and fibrous tissue) can become diseased or injured, and is often unable to repair itself; if it dies, endodontic treatment is required.

2. Prosthodontics: It is the specialty of implant, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry. It involves the restoration of oral function through prostheses and restorations (i.e. complete dentures, crowns, implant retained/supported restorations). Cosmetic dentistry, implants and joint problems all fall under the field of prosthodontics.

3. Orthodontics: It is a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both. Orthodontic treatment can focus on dental displacement only, or can deal with the control and modification of facial growth. Orthodontic treatment can be carried out for purely aesthetic reasons – improving the general appearance of patients’ teeth and face for cosmetic reasons – but treatment is often prescribed for practical reasons, providing the patient with a functionally improved bite (occlusion).

4. Periodontics: It is branch of dentistry which studies supporting structures of teeth (supporting tissues are known as periodontium) and diseases and conditions that affect them. It involves treating diseases and conditions of the periodontium. Periodontists specialize in the management of patients with periodontitis, gum recession and surgical placement of implants.

For affordable dental surgery overseas, please contact Healthbase. Healthbase is a dental tourism expert and medical tourism expert connecting patients to leading dental offices worldwide and leading healthcare facilities worldwide. Healthbase also offers dental tourism plans and medical tourism plans for self-insured businesses looking for affordable dental care benefits and affordable healthcare benefits for employees.

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WHAT IS CANCER?

Cancer, which causes about 13% of all deaths worldwide, is a group of diseases in which cells are:
1. aggressive – grow and divide without respect to normal limits,
2. invasive – invade and destroy adjacent tissues, and
3. sometimes metastatic – spread to other locations in the body.
These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which are self-limited in their growth and do not invade or metastasize (although some benign tumor types are capable of becoming malignant).

CAUSES OF CANCER

Cancer may be caused by:

– Chemical carcinogens such as tobacco smoke and alcohol
– Ionizing radiation such as radon gas and UV rays from the sun
– Ifectious diseases associated with viruses like human papillomavirus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus, Epstein-Barr virus, and human T-lymphotropic virus
– Hormonal imbalances
– Immune system dysfunction like HIV
– Heredity

Other cancer-promoting genetic abnormalities may be randomly acquired through errors in DNA replication, or are inherited, and thus present in all cells from birth. Complex interactions between carcinogens and the host genome may explain why only some develop cancer after exposure to a known carcinogen. New aspects of the genetics of cancer pathogenesis, such as DNA methylation, and microRNAs are increasingly being recognized as important.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Roughly, cancer symptoms can be divided into three groups:
Local symptoms: unusual lumps or swelling (tumor), hemorrhage (bleeding), pain and/or ulceration. Compression of surrounding tissues may cause symptoms such as jaundice.
Symptoms of metastasis (spreading): enlarged lymph nodes, cough and hemoptysis, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), bone pain, fracture of affected bones and neurological symptoms. Although advanced cancer may cause pain, it is often not the first symptom.
Systemic symptoms: weight loss, poor appetite and cachexia (wasting), excessive sweating (night sweats), anemia and specific paraneoplastic phenomena, i.e. specific conditions that are due to an active cancer, such as thrombosis or hormonal changes.

Every symptom in the above list can be caused by a variety of conditions (a list of which is referred to as the differential diagnosis). Cancer may be a common or uncommon cause of each item.

TREATMENT

Once diagnosed, cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. As research develops, treatments are becoming more specific for different varieties of cancer. There has been significant progress in the development of targeted therapy drugs that act specifically on detectable molecular abnormalities in certain tumors, and which minimize damage to normal cells. Cancer may be treated by:

– Surgery
– Radiation therapy
– Chemotherapy
– Targeted therapies
– Immunotherapy
– Hormonal therapy
– Symptom control

PROGNOSIS
Cancer has a reputation for being a deadly disease. While this certainly applies to certain particular types, this is increasingly being overturned by advances in medical care. Some types of cancer have a prognosis that is substantially better than nonmalignant diseases such as heart failure and stroke.

Cancer patients, for the first time in the history of oncology, are visibly returning to the athletic arena and workplace. Patients are living longer with either quiescent persistent disease or even complete, durable remissions.

For affordable cancer treatment overseas, please contact Healthbase. Healthbase is a medical tourism expert connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide. Healthbase also offers medical tourism plans for self-insured businesses looking for affordable healthcare benefits for employees.

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MEDICAL TOURISM AND JCI HOSPITALS

With the growth in the number of medical tourism providers quality standards become all the more important. To demonstrate their commitment towards quality some international health care organizations choose to be accredited by the US-based Joint Commission Internationa (JCI). JCI accreditation has gained worldwide attention as an effective quality evaluation and management tool. A JCI hospital is an international hospital outside of the United States which has been accredited by the Joint Commission International. There are over 120 JCI hospitals worldwide and many more are in the process of receiving accreditation.

The JCI accreditation program was launched by the Joint Commission in 1999 in response to the growing interest in accreditation and quality improvement worldwide. Accreditation is usually voluntary. The health care organization interested in a JCI accreditation has to meet a set of standards requirements designed to improve quality of care. JCI accreditation standards are usually regarded as optimal and achievable. Accreditation provides a visible commitment by an organization to improve the quality of patient care, to ensure a safe environment and to continually work to reduce risks to patients and staff.

JCI makes sure accredited hospitals have state-of-the-art health care facilities and technology along with advanced transportation and communication systems. JCI accredited hospitals’ health care standards, professionalism and quality of their doctors are equivalent if not superior to those you find in the United States of America.

JCI ensure the quality of hospitals in its network using the following criteria:
• Coverage From Patient Entry to Discharge
• Assessment for All Aspects of Management
• Culture of Patient Safety
• Access to and continuity of care
• Assessment and care processes
• Education and rights of individuals
• Management of information and human resources
• Quality leadership
• Infection control
• Collaborative integrated
• Facility Management

The above is a partial list of assessment criteria. For details, refer to Medical Tourism FAQ.

For affordable overseas medical treatment at a JCI hospital, please contact Healthbase. Healthbase is a medical tourism expert connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide.

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